Francesca Woodman s Notebook
The American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) spent a brief portion of her childhood in the countryside around Florence, living with her parents in an old farm whose dilapidated interiors were later to influence the backdrops of her mesmerizing self-portraits. In 1977 she returned to Italy, studying in Rome on a year-long RISD honors program. During this tenure, Woodman found five tattered school exercise books, printed in 1906, side-stapled and inscribed in fine cursive penmanship with notes from physics lectures or poems in English and Italian. To these evocative objects, Woodman–already fully formed as the photographer we recognize and admire today–added her characteristic black-and-white photographs, either as small paper prints or as prints made on transparent film that allows the writing beneath to show through, further embellishing them with her own captions or remarks. This facsimile edition of one of these notebooks was selected for publication by Woodman’s mother and father as an artist’s book of particular beauty and revelatory content that provides unprecedented insight into the emphatically narrative logic of Woodman’s photography. Housed in a lightweight printed box, it includes an afterword by George Woodman, Francesca’s father, that contextualizes the work within the photographer’s artist’s book production.